Gone to the dogs

The American Kennel Club recognizes about 200 sort-of-different dog breeds. (The Belgian sheepdog and its sort-of-distant cousins, the Malinois and the Tervuren, are three separate breeds in AKC reckoning; in Belgium, they’re three varieties of the same dog.) There are lots of other breeds that have yet to receive AKC attention. And there are breeds that will never be seen again, by AKC or anyone else:

Are any current breeds marked for extinction? Surely not deliberately so; but, say, the otterhound — pretty much nobody hunts otters anymore — is fairly unemployable.


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 May 2018 · 6:21 pm

    “Heritage breeds” of cattle, hogs, and sheep are a thing. But then again, some of them are edible (and several of them are particularly tasty), so there’s perhaps a niche market for them.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there are heritage-breed associations for dogs, and people trying to re-create the extinct breeds. (Dogs are apparently v. genetically flexible, which is why there are so many breeds)

    the story behind turnspit dogs is kind of cool…

  2. CGHill »

    4 May 2018 · 6:40 pm

    I remember being gobsmacked when I was told that the mating of a Giant Schnauzer and a Miniature Schnauzer would produce no Standard Schnauzers.

  3. fillyjonk »

    5 May 2018 · 8:12 am

    I guess dogs don’t know how to do averages…

  4. Holly H »

    7 May 2018 · 8:40 am

    Yeah, the turnspit dog was bred to run in place and serve as foot-warmers. Now that is specific breeding. Perhaps it’s for the best that they went by the wayside.

  5. May rambling: Red-Eyed Tree Frogs | Ramblin' with Roger »

    16 May 2018 · 8:34 am

    […] Gone to the dogs […]

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